Why Do My Boobs Hurt During My Period?

What causes it and how can I relieve it?

woman sleeping

People who menstruate have a lot to put up with. From cramps and leaks to back pain – how we’ve been putting up with it for all these years is a miracle. But one thing’s for sure, it never gets any easier.

While the week of being on your period is miserable enough, the days and week leading up to it can be equally as grim. Breast pain before and during your period is a pretty common menstrual symptom, yet it’s one we often skim over, rarely discussing it with others and rarely doing much to relieve it too.

So let’s talk about it here. From what causes it, to what we can actually do about it.

What is it?

Breast pain is related to the menstrual cycle, and it most commonly happens in the lead-up to your period. It’s a form of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and it will often begin 1-2 weeks prior to beginning your period, between ovulation and beginning your monthly bleed, and it will end during or immediately after your period.

It happens because your hormone levels are fluctuating a lot during this time. The hormone estrogen is responsible for making your breast ducts enlarged, while progesterone can make your milk glands swell. Both of these combined together can cause a heavy, painful feeling in your breasts, which is tender to the touch.

Is it normal? 

Luckily (or unluckily for us) it is pretty common to experience this, as outlined by healthline.com. The soreness can range in severeness however, and while you may only feel your boobs slightly tender, your friend could suffer a lot more.

The HSE outlines that the pain can range from mild to bad, and usually affects both breasts and can even extend to the armpit in extreme circumstances.

Generally, soreness in your breasts during PMS should feel like more of an annoyance than anything else. If you do feel as though you’re suffering more than others it’s always advised to visit your GP for a chat to see if there’s any other underlying issue.

What can I do about it? 

Despite the discomfort, there are ways that you can ease your symptoms. The HSE advises that taking medicines like paracetamol or ibuprofen will work best to help the pain.

If you’re not too keen on medication, you can treat it in other ways too. You could try rubbing a painkilling gel onto the sores areas, doing light stretches targeting the upper body, and it also helps to wear a soft but fitted bra to avoid pulling when you’re moving around.